How to Use the English Language

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Lay, lie; fewer and less; affect and effect. These are the pits and pitfalls of the world’s most widely spoken and maybe the most abused language.

The Queen is indubitably not amused by the wanting references, modern malapropisms, and mixed-up metaphors that plague today’s English. Richard Lederer, the fastidious verbivore and the Grammar Gremlin is the new usage editor for the Random House Dictionary. Third edition. Unabridged, he’d remind you. He means to undangle your participles, unsplit your infinitives, unmangle your modifiers and unfloat your floating adverbs. Hopefully.

He wants to take on the third person pronoun. And cure you forever of ending a sentence, any sentence with a preposition. As in, why did you bri ng the book I didn’t want to be read to out of up for? That’s just the kind of thing up with which Richard Lederer won’t put.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Richard Lederer, author of “Crazy English.”